Posts Tagged ‘light of God’

How often have you  heard it? Sometimes in church as masses of people clamor after a song or rousing message, crying out, with hands raised, “Praise the Lord.” Or perhaps, you are telling a story to someone and throughout the telling, the listener interposes several “praise the Lords.” It’s as though the phrase has become a kind of “gesundheit” or “bless you.” But have we lost some of its deeper meaning? Light of God

The word praise can be translated into a number of different iterations, but in the Hebrew, most often when it is associated with hal-lu [as in hallelujah] it means  “shine.” The first image that comes to my mind then is “Shine, O God, on this situation” or “shine on me.” It is a plea, a request, a desire. The old song, “Shine, Jesus, Shine” then is really like saying Hallelu Jesus Hallelu.

Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,

    how pleasant and fitting to praise him!
[Psalm 147:1, NIV]

I have gotten into the habit of thinking of of the phrase, “Praise the Lord” as “good job.” And I suppose, that’s not entirely wrong, but I want  to elaborate on the concept now and think about the Light of God illuminating the moment.

What we are telling you now is the very message we heard from Him: God is pure light, undimmed by darkness of any kind.” [I John 1:5, The Voice]

This is the Hallelujah! This is the praise.

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The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?  [Psalm 27:1, NIV]

Antelope Canyon, Wikipedia Commons

Antelope Canyon, Wikipedia Commons

Three words drove my prayers from this verse: light, stronghold, and fear.

There are so many different kinds of light but they all get similar results: they transform the appearance of a place or thing by illuminating it. Light pushes back darkness. Light is often a reflection of energy. “God is light, and in God, there no darkness at all.” [I John 1:5] Light reveals things that are hidden. Light is no respecter of persons. Light does not judge, Light is.

And apparently, the presence of Light (the Light) gives confidence against the people, situations or causes I might fear.

A stronghold is best described as a fortified place which has been created as the best (and often the last) line of defense. It is like safe within a bank or a tower within a castle. It is built with defense and safety in mind. This, then, is within me as well. There is a location within me that is protected by the Holy Spirit. This place cannot be breached without permission, an open door or window, opened from within. This is where God’s Spirit dwells in tandem with my own spirit.

But fear is also a strong word and it manifests most often through people. It is unfortunate how often I engage people (and my fear) before I engage my place of strength within or before I shed the Light on the situation. This task is to be done daily, hourly, and even minute by minute. Some people call it centering.

I want to stop “reacting” and simply be fully in the moment and allow that moment to be what it is and me to be who I am in Christ. That’s one of the reasons why it’s called “the peace that passes understanding.” That place is not always apparent if I don’t practice being there.

It is prayer from the place of strength. It is prayer of abandon and trust. It is authentic and transparent.

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